The release of radioactive substances into the atmosphere, water, and soil mainly because of human activities is known as radioactive pollution. Radioactive waste is the most dangerous pollutant on the Earth as it is not easy to safely dispose of. These wastes remain in the environment for a long period. Any leakage in a nuclear plant may threaten the survival of humans living in nearby areas. It also has disastrous effects on plants, animals, and soil. Major Preventive Measures of Radioactive Pollution are
Preventive Measures of Radioactive Pollution
- The use of X-rays should be minimized.
- Atomic or nuclear reactors should be regularly checked to ensure safety conditions.
- Nuclear devices should be tested deep underground.
- Production of radioisotopes should be minimized.
- In nuclear mines, wet drilling should be used along with underground drainage.
- Nuclear wastes should be handled with care and should be stored in shielded and corrosion-proof containers and then stored deep underground so that they may not escape and their proper decay takes place.
- Radiation levels should always be kept within permissible limits.
- Radiation-resistant walls should be built around areas located close to nuclear reactors.
- Ground disposal of radiation wastes should be under approved rock and soil.
Effects of Radioactive Pollution
Radioactive pollution is caused during the testing of nuclear weapons, the establishment of nuclear plants, and the mining and refining of radioactive substances such as uranium and thorium.
Effects of Radioactive Pollution on the Environment
- Radioactive pollution affects our environment. The radioactive wastes cannot be destroyed, and hence, they remain in our environment for a longer period of time. They can lead to the discolouring of trees in the forests. After the Chernobyl nuclear accident, a pine forest cover near the power plant turned reddish-brown.
- The underground disposal of radioactive wastes may contaminate the drinking water which may be harmful to plants, animals, and humans.
Effects of Radioactive Pollution on Human Health
- Radiations are extremely dangerous for human health as they produce harmful changes in the body cells and affect genes.
- When people are exposed to radiation, their offspring may also be affected, and thus, mutations may be transmitted to future generations. These are known as genetic variations.
- Exposure to radioactive pollution may cause damage to body organs. It may result in lung cancer, brain cancer, thyroid cancer, sterility, and reduced or defective eyesight.
Also, Read What Is Radioactive Pollution?